Well, not the whole family. The two women are on Team Harris whereas dad, who voted for Trump in 2016, is keeping his options open.
Which is a nice microcosm of the electorate writ large. Ladies are anti-Trump, dudes prefer him to most Democrats head to head.
Don’t ask me why this clip is getting so much attention online today, with 850,000 Twitter views and counting as I write this. I think political junkies are naturally attracted to evidence of potentially seismic political shifts in middle America, even if the sample size of this particular survey is, uh, three. There’s Harris momentum in the heartland. Look out, Trump.
This clip of a conservative mother and daughter explaining why they can’t vote for Trump in Iowa should have Republicans scared. pic.twitter.com/Ip0L5syyt8
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) August 11, 2019
The flip side of Democrats overhyping the clip, of course, is that righties in some dark corner of the Internet are doubtless working hard to prove that these three are actually co-chairmen of the Ames Democratic Party or whatever and were planted by the DNC. Why, there simply must be a sinister alternate explanation to their preference for Harris. It’s unimaginable that salt-of-the-earth people from flyover country who lean right might prefer a Democrat to our national savior.
The critiques of Trump by mother and daughter here are essentially moral but I wonder how much the local economic bottom line is hurting his standing in Iowa. A local Democratic official told The Hill today, “What I’m hearing a lot about is the tariffs and I do think the tariffs are starting to really hurt the president’s standing in the state and hurt the Republican Party’s standing in the state.” At last check Trump’s job approval in Iowa was net -11; he won the state in 2016 by 10 points. That may be the single biggest change in a state that went red three years ago, although he’s also underwater at the moment in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin (-14!), and even Ohio.
The Wall Street Journal noted this morning that, for American businesses, 10 percent tariffs on Chinese goods are manageable but 25 percent tariffs are something else entirely.
When the Trump administration first imposed 10% tariffs on many Chinese goods about a year ago, suppliers, importers, distributors and retailers worked together to defray the cost and try to avoid passing it on to consumers for fear of losing sales. Mr. Stone and his Chinese partners initially ate most of the vinyl flooring tariff cost, passing just a tad on to retailers.
Tariffs at the 25% level are quite another matter. They are upending cost projections and business models and straining relationships built up over decades. For operations such as Mr. Stone’s, the math is painful. He and others are trying to figure out how much of the new expense can be dispersed throughout the supply chain, how much should be passed to customers, at what potential cost in lost sales, and how much they must swallow…
“This is a chaos moment. If I pay the tariffs, I don’t have any money,” said Mr. Stone.
Retaliatory measures taken by China, meanwhile, are a dagger aimed at American agriculture. Beijing said last week that it would suspend all purchases of American agriculture products to hit back at Trump for the most recent round of tariffs. A few days ago, some exasperated farmers told CNBC that “Trump is ruining our markets” via the escalating trade war:
Kuylen, who farms roughly 1,500 acres of wheat and sunflowers, lost $70 per acre this year, despite growing good crops. Current government subsidies only cover about $15 per acre, he said.
“There’s no incentive to keep farming, except that I’ve invested everything I have in farming, and it’s hard to walk away,” he said.
“When four to five generations ahead of you have succeeded, and you come along and fail, you don’t see it as not your fault. You snap.”
The president of North Dakota’s Farmers Union said he lost three bucks on every bushel of soybeans he planted this year, with U.S. exports of soybeans to China falling 75 percent in the span of nine months between last September and May of this year. Other farmers are calling for an increase in federal subsidies to get them through this, as the latest bailout just isn’t enough. China might even start tariffing U.S. agricultural products that it’s already agreed to purchase.
If you’re thinking, “Well, at least Trump has a top team of advisors around him who know what they’re doing by escalating with China,” note this WaPo piece from last week. Increasingly he’s running the trade war himself — sometimes even against his advisors’ advice. Reportedly John Bolton, Mick Mulvaney, and Larry Kudlow all opposed the most recent round of tariffs on China. “We’re learning that maybe China has a higher pain threshold than we thought here,” said Stephen Moore, one of Trump’s recent aborted nominees to the Fed, to WaPo. “They don’t seem to care that this is having extreme negative effects on their economy. It’s kind of a mutually assured destruction game right now.”
Trump 2020: Mutually assured economic destruction with China. It could work in Iowa. Maybe?
Exit question: How’d the two women in the clip above land on Kamala Harris instead of Joe Biden? Biden’s the closest thing to a right-winger in the Dem primary, no?
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